Attorney General Bill Barr’s initial “book report” on the Mueller Report came out Sunday. Within an hour President Trump was illustrating his lack of English comprehension skills and doing what he does best – lying. Let’s explore.
Trump and his minions (aided by his 24/7 cable TV network) have been telling anyone who would listen that Mueller’s report was a, “Complete and total exoneration”. That is patently a lie! The Mueller Report is still secret and has not been released to anyone outside the highest ranks of the Justice Department. All we received on Sunday was Barr’s brief overview. I’ll sound like a disclaimer now but here is the truth: The words used and opinions expressed in Barr’s report are his, (perhaps aided by Rod Rosenstein – time will tell) not Robert Mueller’s or any of his investigators. Even in the interest of spinning for his boss – remember Barr was handpicked by Trump – Barr included an all telling line, “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”’ What part of “Does not exonerate him” do Trump and his minions fail to comprehend?
The press got word of Barr receiving the Mueller Report at 5:01 Friday afternoon. What better news dump time except for possibly a holiday weekend Friday? Nance’s Law – coincidence takes a lot of planning. Barr’s “book report” came out on a Sunday afternoon. Sounds like another attempt at burial to me.
I do feel that with the possible exception of classified material and some grand jury testimony the full report and much its underlying documentation will eventually come out. Just how long “eventually’ will be is one of the big questions. The other is how much of a “dance” there will be in the release of the information. I expect Trump and his forces to fight every release every inch of the way hoping to keep the clock running. Never forget that the Trump administration at its core is an organized criminal enterprise whose main purpose is to steal and skim money. The longer the clock is running the more money they accumulate.
Now allow me to put on my political strategist hat for a few paragraphs. Considering how close we are to the 2020 election the game has now changed. Any hope of removing Trump by impeachment or resignation has diminished exponentially. Trump is winning the war of public opinion sufficiently to keep much of his base intact. That is not enough to win a fair election, but it is enough to keep cowardly elected Republicans in line (are there any brave ones?) and perhaps win another tainted Electoral College victory in 2020.
While Congressional investigations need to continue -that is the constitutional job of the legislative branch – considering the timetable the way to remove Trump from office is for the people to do it at the ballot box in 2020 like they removed a plethora of Republicans from the House of Representatives in November of 2018. When all else fails or is too slow in a representative democracy the responsibility for ensuring good government falls on the shoulders of the people.
I’m still a long way away from an endorsement of a 2020 presidential candidate but one thing has become crystal clear: that candidate must be capable of winning. We have been fortunate to have survived a bit over two years of a Trump presidency in no small part due to a lack of a major event like the Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11 or the Great Recession. Can you guarantee that pattern will hold through January of 2021? There are serious reasons to bet against our good fortune continuing. Remember, in elections unless you win you really haven’t accomplished much of anything.
In conclusion: English comprehension is a wonderful thing in America; too bad Trump and his followers lack it. Here is the really scary news for America and the world: Trump’s core supporters can and will vote.
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